One winter night, a young fisherwoman was reported missing off the west coast of Korea.
Together with other villagers, she had gone to the tidal flat to collect shellfish at low tide. She had been so absorbed in what she was doing that she failed to notice the tide rising. By the evening she was trapped and was drifting helplessly out to sea. The villagers on the shore called her name anxiously and searched for her with torches, and several vessels put to sea to rescue her, but they could not see anything in the darkness.
Informed of the developments, Chairman Kim Jong Il immediately organized a search and rescue operation; he mobilized the Korean People’s Army, and dispatched officials from the Party Central Committee to the place to oversee the rescue operation. He also ordered the emergency mobilization of the units and coast guards of the KPA near the village. The unprecedented rescue operation was conducted in a three-dimensional way–on land, at sea and in the air. However, it seemed there was little chance of rescuing the girl in the dead of night on the rough sea. The long night passed, and the following day dawned.
Chairman Kim Jong Il had asked frequently about the progress of the operation, saying that she must be rescued at any cost and that they should not inform him until she was rescued.
Twenty hours after the rescue operation had started, a wireless message was sent from a helicopter, “Subject detected.” The helicopter had discovered the girl floating on an ice floe. Unconscious, she was immediately taken to hospital, where she recovered after receiving intensive medical care.
Hearing this, her family and the villagers cried with joy, hugging one another. It was only when he received the report on the success of the rescue operation that Chairman Kim Jong Il could relax and begin to deal again with the work he had laid aside.
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